Wolfenstein Commentary – The Train Sequence

We’re back with the newest edition of our evolving Wolfenstein commentary series. This time around, we hear from lead narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Björk. The newest video features lead narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Björk discussing the ins and outs of one of Wolfenstein: The New Order’s most memorable moments: encountering Frau Engel and Bubi on the train..

For more commentary videos, check out Jens Matthies and Jerk Gustafsson commentary of Chapter 1 and Andreas Öjerfors walkthrough of the Gibraltar Bridge level. You can also catch commentary videos like these during our biweekly Bethesda Twitchworks livestream (note: this week we’re taking a break to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families)  — airing every other Friday at 4 pm est.

Extra Life 2014 – Watch some games and win some swag!

ExtraLifeSwag

As noted earlier this week, we’re participating in this year’s Extra Life gaming marathon — with money raised supporting our one of our local children’s hospitals, Children’s National in Washington, DC!

During the stream, beginning at or around 12:00 am edt on tonight, Jess and I will be giving out Bethesda swag and gear to donors of our Bethesda Extra Life page. We’ll also have some special guests. Machinegames’ Jerk Gustafsson and Jens Matthies will be participating and playing Fallout 3, while Arkane’s Raf Colantonio will be playing the studios’ classic from 2002, Arx Fatalis!

We look forward to sharing our games with you and hope you’ll consider donating to this charitable cause.

For more details, visit the official Bethesda Extra Life page.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order – Gibraltar Bridge Developer Commentary

Last week we introduced our newest developer commentary for Wolfenstein: The New Order on our Twitch stream. Now, for your viewing pleasure, see the exciting in depth footage of the Gibraltar Bridge in high definition with narration from MachineGames’ senior gameplay designer, Andreas Öjerfors.

If you missed our first commentary video, you can catch it in episode 2 of our Bethesda Twitchworks variety show.

Help Wolfenstein & ESO Become Golden

Our industry’s longest-standing award show (32 years), the UK’s Golden Joystick Awards, return on Friday, October 24th. Both Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Elder Scrolls Online are representing Bethesda — providing us with a total of four nominations, including a Game of the Year nod for MachineGames’ take on the Wolfenstein franchise!

Nominations include:

Want to help support ZeniMax Online Studo and MachineGames in these categories? Head to www.goldenjoystick.com and vote before October 20th.

Dead End Thrills, Shortlist catch up with MachineGames’ Creative Director

For a few years now, we’ve always been excited to see the work of Dead End Thrills — they’ve provided jaw-dropping images of RAGE, Skyrim, DOOM 3, Dishonored, and most recently, Wolfenstein: The New Order.

And with Wolfenstein, there’s more than just screenshots to ogle over. This month the site’s creator, Duncan Harris, visited with MachineGame’s creative director, Jens Matthies. Catch the interview and more of those amazing screenshot right here.

For more with Jens, read his new interview with the UK’s Shortlist — where he discusses developing a modern Wolfenstein and his favorite moments from the game.

Around the Web – Swede Interview Edition

What’s new on the web? Plenty!

With Wolfenstein out for more than a month now, Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek caught up with MachineGames’ creative director, Jens Matthies, for a must-read interview. Topics covered include: what it takes to make a Wolfenstein game, spoilers [alert!] about the ending, and what’s on the horizon for MachineGames.

Here’s an excerpt…

Giant Bomb: So you actually liked the idea of trying to resolve the potential contradictions in the story you wanted to tell with the legacy of the storytelling in Wolfenstein?

Jens Matthies: Yeah, of course. We want this to be part of a greater saga. That said, of course, this game stands completely on its own. It’s not a requirement that you play anything of the previous games. You can be completely new to Wolfenstein and have a complete experience. But we also want to build upon things that have been established on their own.

Who else is putting their post-mortem wrap on Wolfenstein? The Escapist. One of the site’s feature writers, Shamus Young, shares his surprise in how great the game ended up being — drawing comparisons to Valve’s Half-Life 2. Read Shamus’ article here.

Going from what’s already out to what’s coming later this year, we move to The Evil Within. And with The Evil Within at E3, you also get plenty of face time with Shini Mikami. Read a pair of interviews with him at both Metro UK and Telegraph.

Previewed in a dark room, we had to be careful not to make players scream at the top of their lungs as we strolled by. Below are some E3 highlights…

Official Xbox Magazine – “… it could be the modern Resident Evil that fans like me have been waiting for.”

Platform Nation - “Bewildered by the blank wall, I turn around and the hall goes all hazy, riddled with static, and then the doctor and patient disappear after the kid gives some sort of creepy psycho premonition speech. The hallway ends at a door that wasn’t there before, and the other side appears to go on interminably. It’s disconcerting to say the least.”

USA Today — Watch a new video preview with Pete Hines.

Closing out our wrap up, read impressed impressions from folks that tried BattleCry Studios’ self-titled debut. Among recent previews, USA Today ranked the game as one of their Top 10 game of the show. Previews below…

Quest Gaming Network – “Fast and fluid, pretty yet gritty; BattleCry Studios seem to know what their doing, which is no surprise with vets from all around the industry in their ranks.”

Tom’s Hardware – “BATTLECRY in its present state was a blast. A number of us played as the Cossacks while another set played as the Royal Marines. Because there is no gunpowder in this alternate timeline, players must rely on melee and basic ranged weapons such as swords, bows, energy-powered blades and more. That made the gameplay feel a bit more personal and frantic.”

USA Today – “It’s a fascinating approach for an online multiplayer game, which anyone with a headset and public chat settings enabled will tell you is sometimes a hostile experience.”

Around the web: Pre-E3 Edition

Before hopping on a plane to Los Angeles for E3 2014, here’s some videos and articles we thought you’d enjoy this weekend.

While in Munich to receive the LARA of Honor award, Todd Howard chatted with GameStar on a number of topics: career highlights, gaming philosophies, favorite German cuisine, and much more are all covered in the video above.

Elsewhere…

“Turn the pain into something positive. Use the darkness to make good art.” — Those words mean a great deal to Wolfenstein narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Björk. Find out why in a heartfelt column this week on The Huffington Post.

Next… err current-gen gaming is all the rage these days, but IGN recently took time to share their 100 favorite games from the previous generation. Bethesda published games make quite a splash in the list — with five games making the list: Dishonored (#67), Oblivion (#40), Fallout: New Vegas (#26),  Fallout 3 (#5), and Skyrim (#4).

The Skyrim Mash-up for Minecraft on Xbox 360 recently won the “Coming Back for Seconds” award from the Xbox community. Thanks to everyone for voting.

If you’ve ever eaten at Nando’s, you know their chicken is peri peri good! It’s so good that MachineGames developers flew from Sweden to the UK to celebrate their first paycheck. Learn more on this and other tidbits about Wolfenstein: The New Order’s development at Shortlist.

Are The Evil Within and BATTLECRY your most anticipated games of E3? Share your support in a new poll up at FavsList!.

Here’s some scary thinking: A new feature at Games Radar focuses on eight bizarre parallels that can be made between the real world and the world of Wolfenstein. Yikes!

Do you know what time it is? It’s time for a Wolfenstein Penny Arcade cartoon!

Finally, a little love for Dishonored. Below you can watch a jaw-dropping play-through of the Lord Regent assassination mission — courtesy of StealthGamerBR. The video is an awesome reminder that you can always find new and creative ways to play through the game.

Have an awesome weekend!

Wolfenstein: The New Order is Now Available!

Bring William “B.J.” Blazkowicz into your home to enjoy the nonstop action and exhilarating gameplay of Wolfenstein: The New Order. Whether you are a seasoned regime steamroller of Wolfensteins past or ready to experience the intensity for the first time, or just seeking a great action game with a compelling story, we think you’ll find something to love with the game.!

Turns out other folks feel the same way. Check out what press and gamers are saying about the game in the links below…

Polygon (9/10) — “The New Order’s humanity makes it something truly memorable.”

Metro UK (9/10) – “The best Wolfenstein game ever made and one of the best single-player shooters for years, with a brave attempt to tackle serious issues and still have fun at the same time.”

CVG (9/10) — “Narrative is intelligently written, brilliantly voiced and highly polished.”

Game Revolution (4.5/5) –“Wolfenstein: The New Order is a shining example of how to revitalize an old-school franchise.”

EGM Now (8.5/10) – “Top-notch action puts Wolfenstein back near the top of the shooter heap.”

GamingTrend (90/100) — “Wolfenstein: The New Order delivers an experience well beyond my expectations, elevating this venerable series not only into a new generation, but raising the bar for story-driven shooters as a whole. Well done, MachineGames, well done indeed.”

Game Informer (8/10) — “Wolfenstein: The New Order is a positive step forward for the series.”

Games Xtreme (9/10) – Wolfenstein is one of the best shooters that we’ve played in a long time, it’s fun, it’s engaging, and it’s big and bold.

AusGamers (8.7/10) – “Wolfenstein: The New Order is a fantastic blend of old-school tropes and contemporary improvements that warrants a second play-through.”

Shacknews (8/10) – “Blazkowicz’s return has a long time coming, but MachineGames has assured that it was worth it.”

Games Radar (8/10) – “An over-the-top shooter with fun action, memorable set-piece moments, and decent characters, Wolfenstein: The New Order successfully transforms an old-school game into a modern experience.”

Xbox Achievements (85/100) – “… this is one of the most deliriously enjoyable and engaging first-person shooters you’ll play this year.”

Gamespot (8/10) — “The New Order’s combat intensity and variety have granted the Wolfenstein series a breath of fresh air, whilst still managing to hit the nostalgic highs that I expect from the series.”

US Gamer (4/5) — “… an absolutely spectacular, supremely gory, utterly compelling experience.”

Crave Online (8/10) – “It manages to remain interesting for most of the journey, presenting enough gameplay choice that the 20 hours don’t feel like a grind.”

VG247 — “And like Half-Life 2, The New Order also has its ‘Gravity Gun’ moment in the form of Blazkowicz’s laser cutter tool, which is later swapped out for a more-powerful rail gun.”

Stevivor (9/10) – “Wolfenstein: The New Order managed to surprise me not only with its unexpected gameplay but also with it’s excellent narrative.”

TIME (4/5) — “Wolfenstein newcomer MachineGames’ deftly executed voyage through a horror-filled 1960s world — and off — conquered by Nazi Germany gives its jarhead protagonist more than just the Nazis to think about.”

Financial Post (8/10) – “And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a dumb grin on my face every time I used the laserkraftwerk to turn Nazis into red Jello.”

SpawnFirst (8/10) — “You’ll have a ton of fun blasting Nazis to bits and painting the walls red.”

GameFront (80/100) — “It’s mostly a game about gunning down all the Nazis, Nazi monsters and Nazi robots you can, and MachineGames has done well to give a variety of experiences in that vein.”

Slant (4/5) — “the best entry yet in the Wolfenstein series”

ArsTechnica — “There’s depth to Wolfenstein: The New Order if you’re willing to put the time in to find it, to the point where I don’t mind the lack of a multiplayer mode. The craftsmanship in the campaign speaks to what happens when a developer doesn’t have to split its resources between two very different types of games wrapped into one package.”

Total Biscuit — “Highly enjoyable”

Guardian UK (4/5) — “Developer MachineGames has all sorts of fun with the imagined general depravity of triumphant Nazis as well as the technology they would have had at their command by the 1960s”

NowGamer — “Wolfenstein: The New Order does almost everything right, sliding confidently between gung-ho action sequences to gripping, character-driven story moments.”

God is a Geek (8/10) — “Visually, the idTech 5 engine makes The New Order sing on PS4. Cutscenes are stunning, while the environments are beautifully grim throughout.”

Don’t forget your DOOM beta in all the Wolfenstein excitement! You can redeem your code by visiting www.wolfenstein.com/doom.

MeshuggahGames

During our Wolfenstein Reddit AmA, MachineGames’ creative director Jens Matthies let it be known that fellow Swede and renown metal guitarist, Fredrik Thordendal, contributed music for the game. We had a chance to send questions to the legendary Meshuggah guitarist. Check out his answers below, and at the bottom of the page, you can download Thordendal’s in-game track, Herr Faust, below.

What made you interested in contributing music for Wolfenstein: The New Order?

Writing music for a movie or video game has always been on my “want to do list” so when Jens Matthies of MachineGames asked if I was interested —  the word yes came to mind. ;-)

Was seeing behind the scenes of a video game production different from how you had imagined it to be? If so, in what way?

Yes. I was surprised by how many people are working together on a project like this and how much planning, time and effort have to be spent to implement the simplest things – like a sound/a piece of music – into the game.

What is your creative process like?

Technically it’s different every time but I guess I spend a lot of time trying to listen/hear the music that I already have inside. Sometimes it can be easy but most of the time it’s really hard to make out what’s going on. Then I trying to figure out how to translate that to the musical instruments of my choice – being drums, electric bass, electric guitars, vocals. Hm, this sounds weird. ;-)

What do you love about music?

The places it can show us. To me music is nothing but magic.

Download Herr Faust by Fredrik Thordendal

All Wolfensigns point to Wolfentime!

And that means I’m running out of time to produce really bad Wolfenstein puns.

That’s right, Wolfenstein: The New Order releases on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC this Tuesday, May 20th. We’ll be getting ready for launch tomorrow with a one-hour livestream on Twitch.TV/Bethesda. Tune in on Monday at 2 PM EST!

Want to see more of Wolfenstein in action? In addition to our archived streams on the Bethesda Twitch channel, I had the opportunity to stream the game live for several sites last week. See my humbling demise during one checkpoint at GameTrailers, my Dikembe Mutombo impression at Polaris, and a near-perfect playthrough for Machinima — only to be spoiled by letting my own explosive destroy me.

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